Engine options, top speed, acceleration and refinement

Although outright performance is far from the Aston Martin Rapide’s raison d’etre, it’s still an extremely quick car. Not as bombastic or obviously fast as a Porsche Panamera Turbo, perhaps, but still rapid enough to silence anyone lucky enough to climb aboard and experience its performance first hand.

Any car that can reach 60mph from rest in less than five seconds and 100mph in just 11.2sec is always going to feel impressive in a straight line, especially when enjoyed from one of the rear seats. 

Considering that the Rapide weighs two tonnes, the way it performs comes as a genuine surprise. And because it’s as refined as it is, you simply don’t expect it to accelerate with so much vigour in the mid-range. Yet that’s precisely where the Rapide is at its most effective. The way in which it gathers momentum so smoothly from 3000-4000rpm in the higher gears is testimony to the strong, even flow of torque that’s available; rarely does it seem necessary to venture much beyond this point in the rev range.

But when you do, another side of the Rapide’s personality is revealed. Between 5000rpm and the red line it becomes an altogether more aggressive, more responsive machine, emitting a fairly magnificent V12 sound from its previously subdued engine bay.

Better still is the way the paddle-shift gearbox works in conjunction with the engine to deliver either smooth, lazy shifts when left in D, or more urgent, sharper changes when in Sport mode and shifted manually via the paddles. 

It even stops extremely well for such a big, relatively heavy car. In the dry we recorded a 60-0mph time of just 2.44sec and there is plenty of decent pedal feel to go with the strong sense of retardation.

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